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AWS re:Invent 2017 Keynote – Werner Vogels

Werner Vogels, the CTO of Amazon, provided the keynote for the AWS re:Invent 2017. He talked about not only new products but the changing emphasis of overall development processes and priorities.

Key Ideas

Here are few key idea takeaways:

21st Century Architecture

Businesses have to move towards more collaborative and data-driven models. From enterprises to startups, today everyone has access to the same set of tools. So the only distinguishing factor is data. The software architectures have to reflect that. Also, AWS services are increasing at a rapid speed. AWS is expanding these services according to customer requirements. For example, when Amazon built DynamoDB, IAM level controls wasn’t its next priority. But there was a high demand for this feature, so Amazon built it. The customer requirements have helped Amazon create nearly 4000 services. It gives software teams a lot of choices. At the same time, it can be overwhelming. Businesses should start with a simple system and add services as needed.

Voice Services Gaining Prominence

User interfaces restrict how we interact with computing devices. Typing text and using a mouse is not natural. Human interactions are more voice-oriented. So the voice services will gain momentum. It’s the new disruptor. Future applications should consider voice components.

Security at the Forefront

Security is everyone’s responsibility. Without security, there is no business. So companies can no longer let it be the responsibility of a single department. Everyone in the business needs to help create more secure systems. Also, encryption technology has become so easy to use that every business should use encryption as much as possible.

Reliability is a Business Decision

Reliability is important for any business. AWS provides ways to spread out components across zones and regions to increase reliability. But it has a price. So businesses should evaluate their return on investment for the cost increase. A lot of services might not need the high level of reliability that businesses are thinking as necessary.

Chaos Engineering

Chaos engineering enables companies to find out the weaknesses in their systems. Businesses who invest in chaos engineering to systematically eliminate weak points by using product-level fault injections will be able to build more robust systems.

New Service and Product Announcements

Along with discussing the future of software development, the keynote also declared a variety new AWS products and services:

  • Alexa for Business Alexa for Business is a fully managed service that allows you to automate your business tasks. For example, you can start a meeting with Alexa. It will able to detect the conference room you are in and also call the right number.
  • AWS Cloud9 AWS Cloud9 is a cloud-based IDE that allows programmers to develop and compile code in multiple programming languages. You can customize the IDE according to your preference of Emacs, Vim, or Sublime Text. It also has collaboration features. But the best feature of Cloud9 is that it allows you to test and deploy AWS Lambda functions seamlessly.
  • Go and .NET Support for AWS Lambda AWS Lambda has added support for Go and .NET.
  • AWS Serverless Application Repository The repository will contain code samples, components or even full applications. Developers can easily download and reuse these resources.
  • Amazon EKS Even though Amazon have ECS for container management, a lot of development teams prefer Kubernetes. Amazon EKS is a managed Kuberenetes service.
  • Amazon Fargate Amazon Fargate is compatible with both ECS and EKS. You can run containers without managing servers or clusters.
  • Amazon SageMaker The fully managed service for machine learning is becoming more powerful. It will help you to build, train and start running machine learning models at scale.

In Summary

Amazon is trying to build their systems along with their customers. They intend to stay nimble with the market. For now, their concentration is on voice, serverless computing and machine learning.


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